Another year over, and a new one just begun
With all the decorations down now the place looks pretty bare (our living room especially so as we've taken down the curtains as well to replace the runners which had gone brittle and started to disintegrate). Time to run over a few seasonal things I meant to write earlier.
1) While sitting on the big wheel at the German Market in Princes Street, listening to Roy Wood singing I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, it occurred to me (not for the first time) how fabulously talented Wood is. It also struck me that it must be very cool to have been his music teacher at school, and to think "One of my lads....." every time this comes on.
2) We were just watching a programme listing the ten biggest-earning songs of all time ("Happy Birthday to You" wins by some way). Clearly that gets rolled out somewhere pretty much every day, but there are three Christmas numbers in there ("White Christmas" at #2, then "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)". While not in that league, I bet Roy Wood's Christmas record has made him far more money than all the rest of his songs combined. In the UK at least it's ubiquitous at Christmas time (along with Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody").
3) A couple of weeks ago, Bonni the Nazi posted this load of bollocks about how "Muslim-controlled Bethlehem" keeps Jesus under wraps at christmas time. it turns out that "Pastor" Steven Khoury runs a wacky "Christian" sect which isn't officially recognised as a religion by the Palestinian Authority (who are, as you might imagine, pretty welcoming to Christians in Bethlehem). Complaining about the lack of models of the manger in the place which has the site of the real one might seem not-picking, and certainly Bethlehem has pretty impressive general Chrstmas decorations. (and to judge from this article, there are plenty of crib scenes on sale there.) I can't see that Khoury's huge red banner (not even grammatical in English - don't know if the Arabic's any better) added anything to the Christ-centredness of the festival: it seems to be more of an ad for his cult than a celebration of the birth of Jesus. But hey, any angle that makes it look as though wicked Muslims hate Christmas, even though they clearly don't.
4) Some Israeli Jews equally obviously DO hate Christmas, and these include both the Mayor and the Chief Rabbi of Upper Nazareth. Put up even a sprig of holly there and you risk having your business closed down. There may be room at the inn in Bethlehem for Jesus, but it's like the man from Nazareth said himself: "A prophet is not without honour except in his own town." (Mark 6:4)
5) The settler terrorists in Occupied Palestine didn't confine themselves to mere legal persecution of Christians, but vandalised a monastery for Christmas. Not that there's anything unusual in that.